Novak Djokovic has a reputation as an iceman, but he showed his human side after winning the Australian Open in Melbourne in 2023.
Novak Djokovic is back to number 1. He now has an incredible 10 Australian Open wins and 22 grand slam final wins but… that was inevitable, wasn’t it? What didn’t seem to have the same air of destiny about it was Novak Djokovic’s reaction to winning the Championship.
After winning the match in the third set after winning a tie break (the second of the game), Novak raced into the crowd, found his family and support crew, and jumped in. He then fell to the floor, overcome with emotion. The cameras zoomed in, then a member of his group waved their hand at the media as if to say, come on, give him a moment, and then the cameras cut away.
Djokovic’s physio then helped him climb back down to the court, where he sat on a bench and sobbed (making Federer proud, we’d wager).
Djokovic then composed himself and gave a beautiful celebratory speech after being awarded the trophy. Djokovic said: “I’m touched by Stefanos’ words – thank you so much for being so kind and respectful.” This came after Stefanos basically said that in his opinion, Djokovic was the GOAT.
“We are fierce competitors but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect each other,” Djokovic added.
“Tough luck tonight… great battle… this is definitely not your last grand slam. You have a lot of time – much more than me.”Novak Djokovic
Djokovic also congratulated Stefanos’ team and family saying: “I know how much time you guys spend [preparing].”
“You are one of the most professional [players] on the tour and one of the most interesting guys.”
Djokovic also commented on Greece and Serbia, saying thet they are two small countries without much of a tennis tradition, adding: “I think the message for any young tennis player who is watching this… dream big.”
“Dare to dream, because anything is possible. Don’t let anybody take away the dream. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from – [I think] the more disadvantaged childhood [the more challenges you face and overcome at an early age] you have… the stronger you become.”
He also encouraged young people to “find that one person in the world” who can support their dreams and who believes in them… “because you can make it.”
As for his own family, friends and team Djokovic said: “I know you guys are tolerating sometimes the worst sides of my character and I appreciate the patience, love and support you guys are giving me.”
“This trophy is yours as much as it is mine.”
Djokovic also said considering the circumstances of not playing last year and coming back this year the win was “the biggest victory in my life.”
“I want to thank all the people that made me feel welcome/comfortable… there’s a reason why I’ve played my best tennis here [in Australia].”